If you do then help is at hand.
Shortly before the PS3/360 release of FIFA 09, it was said by EA to be faster than FIFA 08 (which was sluggish), but slower than the Euro 2008 game (which was too quick). This seemed to be a good compromise, with most people in agreement that a balance needed to be struck between the two. However, there were some that disagreed – and some have made a guide on how to make FIFA 09 a more realistic speed.
When the consensus of opinion was that FIFA 08 was too slow, I seemed to be one of the few arguing that it was a realistic speed. Football is a game of many speeds, but in 08 you could pass it around achingly slowly or you could pick the pace up by passing at a higher tempo. In 09 it feels like someone has sat on the remote and pressed the fast forward button; even when you’re passing it around the midfield it seems that you can’t play it as slowly as you’d like (as soon as you pass the ball an opposition player is on you and you have to be looking to pass it on).
Perhaps if the pitch is made bigger and it’s harder to be pressed for 90 minutes, which I think needs looking at in future FIFAs, then the speed as it is now would balance out and make a good game (giving you time and space to plan your passes). But the way it is now, it just feels too fast and too pressured even when you’re slowing it down – at least it does in the “big leagues”, e.g. the Premier League.
There is a speed option in FIFA 09 for offline games, so you can switch to “slow” and although it does improve the situation slightly, even then I don’t feel like it makes enough of a difference. But some folks out there who feel the same way have took the situation into their own hands.
Over at BluChampBlogger’s Blog, there is a guide on how to slow down the pace of the game via lots and lots of editing (click here to read it). Now I’ll be honest with you, after years of editing early Pro Evo games for hours upon hours every day of the week, I won’t be editing any football games again any time soon. It brings back bad memories of paying £40 for an empty game (compared to the amount of teams in FIFA) that you spend two months editing and one week playing before you realise it wasn’t worth it.
But, if you like to play offline more often than online, and you’ve had no traumatic PES-editing experiences, it’s well worth the time and the effort. It makes the speed of the game slower, it makes the matches closer, it makes pulling off tricks more difficult, but most of all it makes the game feel so much more realistic.
Here’s a quote from the guide:
We know that League Two teams produce great matches in FIFA 09. Ever wondered why? Because they’re slower, you can control them better. Imagine a very controllable and slower Man Utd or Chelsea with the same level of their own skill and other capabilities. Remember, we’re only reducing the acceleration and sprint speed. We are leaving all other attributes as it is. There could be a top striker with a sprint speed of 68 with a ball control or 92. This means he will have controllable pace with having very good ball control. This is why my shooting (not finishing) has improved.
One more thing to think about; I used to play FIFA offline more often than online, because of the amount of people online who pick Man Utd every game and try through-ball after through-ball to Ronaldo and co. – the speed of the players allow them to sprint from the half-way line to the penalty box and crack a shot into the corner with their superior finishing.
But since the release of the Ultimate Team DLC I find myself playing online more and more often. Why? Because I’m a three-star team, playing against other three-star teams, and every game feels like less of a race and more of a battle.
I hope that in FIFA 10 this applies to Premier League matches as well, and not just the average teams.